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Concerning Results from Traffic Enforcement Initiative

Posted on June 18, 2022

Between April 4th and April 7th, uniform patrol officers conducted a traffic enforcement initiative called “Belts and Cells” which focused on persons failing to wear seatbelts and using cell phones while driving. The initiative which lasted only four days resulted in 56 charges under the Highway Traffic Act and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. There were 27 charges of using a cell phone or handheld device while driving and 16 charges of persons failing to wear a seatbelt. Two persons were charged with driving while under suspension and one person was charged for driving with an improper muffler. Ten other charges were issued for failing to have the required licence, insurance or ownership documents within the vehicle. Inspector Fluney noted that it was shocking at this point in time when it should be routine for persons to put their seatbelts on when entering a vehicle that we are still finding people not taking the moment to ensure their safety and comply with the law. Seatbelt legislation was introduced in Ontario in 1976 and since that time, it is estimated to have saved several thousand lives. Also concerning was the number of persons using cell phones and handheld devices while driving. Many of these drivers were found using the devices while in heavy traffic through the core of the city. Operating a motor vehicle demands your complete attention at all times and becoming distracted for even a few seconds can have tragic consequences. Distracted Driving is the leading cause of injury and death for Ontario Motorists. The Owen Sound Police Service will continue their commitment to ensuring safety on our roads and will continue to target these offences.

Use any of these tips to avoid distracted driving and its penalties:

  • turn off your phone or switch it to silent mode before you get in the car
    • put it in the glove compartment (lock it, if you have to) or in a bag on the back seat
  • before you leave the house, record an outgoing message that tells callers you’re driving and you’ll get back to them when you’re off the road
    • some apps can block incoming calls and texts, or send automatic replies to people trying to call or text you
  • ask a passenger to take a call or respond to a text for you
    • if you must respond, or have to make a call or send a text, carefully pull over to a safe area
  • silence notifications that tempt you to check your phone